Last Friday the new team opened up shop for the evening to celebrate a reopening following the changing of hands at Daphnes Handbag. No, don’t get up – the apostrophe is omitted as it always has been. Check for yourself next time you’re on Mansfield Road. And actually, that’s just one of the many things that make Daphne’s stand out from the rest, something that its new staff are keen to stress. Following ex-owner Judd’s retirement, the running has been passed over to some of the enthusiastic people at Hopkinson (that Aladdin’s cave of vintage oddities and art, near the train station), ably managed by Ali. They were already regulars at Daphne’s, and Liam, who buys for both shops, told me that they are all extremely pleased (as is Judd, I’m sure) to be keeping it going.
An array of cake, beers, Babycham and punch with punch, if you get me, was served. Drink in hand, I spent an hour rifling through leather bags, old postcards and clothes that made the high street offerings seem flimsy and lacklustre. Cabinets bristling with curios line the shop, each owned by a different buyer. After meeting Janette (a sourcer of eclectic items) who explained this to me, I realised that every cabinet did in fact have its own identity, depending on the sort of thing that typically caught its owner’s eye. Some selected distinctive lamps or trinkets, others film cameras and scarves; some liked matt 70s colours best, while others seemed to favour wood or leather. Every cabinet was fascinating and also, importantly, distinctive and reasonably priced. These “sourcers” have scoured the Midlands – even the world via Ebay – so that we may come and choose something with a bit of character. Cabinets are restocked and changed a few times a month as well, to keep things interesting.
Daphnes Handbag is a fantastic shop, and I can’t wait to go back. Next time you’re near Mansfield Road, pop in and say hello – and see if you don’t leave with something. Late night openings coming up include one in September/October especially for students who might want to brighten up their rooms. You can keep up to date via their Facebook page ‘Daphnes Handbag’.
Rosy has moved to Nottingham after three years away, and is really happy to be back. She’s particularly enjoying the charity shops, the new record stores and exploring the area by bike. Follow her on Twitter @HowManyRoses.